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NASCAR’s revised substance-abuse policy warns against mixing medications
NASCAR has made several changes to its substance-abuse policy, including a longer explanation of the dangers of mixing medications and specifying who is subject to tests for performance-enhancing drugs.

The policy, expanded in 2009 to include random drug testing, is outlined in the 2011 Sprint Cup Series rule book.

Most of the changes are procedural. As far as the actual drugs listed, the only adjustment is the addition of synthetic marijuana, such as K2 or Spice.

While NASCAR had in its previous policy that the mixture of medications could cause a violation, it is much more defined with the new policy.

“A combination of drinking 10 cups of espresso, taking cold medicine and using prescribed sleep medication will cause a safety risk although each substance in small amounts by themselves may not necessarily result in a violation,” NASCAR states in the new policy.

NASCAR is currently facing a lawsuit from suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield over a 2009 positive test that NASCAR says was for methamphetamines but Mayfield says was a combination of prescription medication Adderall and over-the-counter Claritin. NASCAR won the case at the U.S. District Court level and Mayfield is appealing that decision.

In the year following the Mayfield suit, a list of drugs was included in the 2010 rule book and the procedures following a failed test were detailed.

The changes for 2011 were not as pronounced but show the policy is still evolving.

“We review the policy each year and continuously identify opportunities to improve the policy and adjust for substance abuse trends,” NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said in a statement about the 2011 changes. “We are proud to have one of sport’s most thorough and complete substance-abuse polices.”

In other changes for 2011:

• NASCAR lists who will be tested for performance-enhancing drugs – drivers, tire changers, tire carriers, jack men and gas men.

• NASCAR includes a section reminding teams that new crewmen must pass a drug test before entering the garage.

• NASCAR added a section that defines a refused test. The list includes someone who doesn’t cooperate with the test or someone who tries to mask the results.

• NASCAR also has named its reinstating process as the “Road to Recovery” program. Scenedaily.com

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